Clear distilled alcohol (35% alcohol "white liquor") or vodka, etc.
Crystal rock sugar
Wash the jar you'll be using to make the umeshu, and sterilize it in boiling water (dry it well afterwards) or sterilize with alcohol.
Choose green ume plums, and throw out any that are blemished. Wash them well (gently so that you don't damage) and drain into a colander.
Take the stem ends off carefully. After removing the stem ends, wipe each ume fruit gently with paper towels.
Make several holes in the surface of the ume plums with a bamboo skewer so that the skins won't get wrinkled.
Put the ume plums, crystal rock sugar, distilled alcohol in the jar in that order. Put the lid on and you're done Shake it occasionally and wait for at least 3 months.
I used this food grade alcohol spray this time.
From left to right: 2 year old umeshu; 1 year old umeshu; and this year's batch The matured umeshu has turned an amber color.
Since the ume plum surfaces are piereced, even after 2 years they are almost wrinkle free You can eat the plums in the liquor even after 2 years of course.
I leave the ume plums in the liquor for about 3 years. After that I turn it into jam. (Recipe ID: 825289)
Story Behind this Recipe
I make this umeshu every year. I make it not so sweet, the way my family likes it.
This is delicious made with 1 kg of ume plums, but I add a bit more for depth of flavor. If you don't have an alcohol sprayer, after sterilizing the jar in boiling water and drying it completely, put 10 ml of the distilled alcohol in the jar and shake it around. Discard the alcohol.